Growing up one of the most dreaded parts of PE was team picking. We would stand in a clump haphazardly, jockeying for a place in front in order to be noticed. The teacher appointed captains took turns choosing kids for their teams. The first few names were always called quickly, with no hesitation, as the most athletic kids were snapped up. But as the ranks thinned, each captain sized up the remaining candidates, judging and calculating. With only a few kids left, you could almost hear the desperate prayers of the stragglers, “Please don’t pick me last.”
Sometimes waiting for God can be like the gauntlet of team picking in elementary school. Everyone starts out confident and full of hope. For those who get picked first, the line is one where dreams are fulfilled. But for others who spend more time on that line, dreams can die as shame and rejection replace hope.
But Paul reminds us in Romans 5:5, that holding onto our hope does not bring shame. God has not left us behind. The key to that is the second part of today’s verse: “because God’s love is poured out into our hearts.”
Whether we see promises fulfilled quickly and easily or have to spend time waiting, shuffling our feet, and watching those around us get selected first, it is good to remember that God equips us through the Holy Spirit.